My Cat Has Been Vomiting Daily

CatChannel veterinary expert Arnold Plotnick, DVM, discusses care for frequent vomiting.

By Arnold Plotnick, DVM | Posted: December 4, 2009, 3 a.m. EST

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Q: I have three indoor cats. One has been vomiting partially digested food or just a yellow bile almost every day for the past week. He also seems a little lethargic but it's hard to tell. Will this most likely pass? The other two are fine.

A: Whether this will pass or not is anyone’s guess, but I wouldn’t wait to see if it does. I would have him checked out by your vet. When cats vomit, it’s usually either a metabolic disorder, or a gastrointestinal disorder. Your vet may want to perform some lab work to see if there’s a metabolic explanation for the vomiting, such as hyperthyroidism or chronic renal failure. If the labwork is normal, your vet may suggest an abdominal X-ray or ultrasound to see if there’s a gastrointestinal disorder.  

If your cat’s symptoms are fairly mild and he seems to be in good shape, your vet may try some conservative therapy first, such as switching to a prescription diet that is bland and non-irritating to the gastrointestinal system, or perhaps a hypoallergenic diet. If this didn’t clear up the problem, further diagnostics would then be necessary to obtain a definitive diagnosis.

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Reader Comments

Norma    Sunrise, FL

12/28/2011 1:49:17 PM

Hey signe, YES VET FIRST!! I have a cat that vomits daily. We had her checked over the years and she is fine. Thank goodness. My baby, only 3, vomited 3 times one day and 12 hours later he was dead. He had never been sick and we had no reason to think we should rush him to the vet E.R. We did take him to the vet when he got lethargic, about 10 hours after the vomiting, but it was too late. Now he's gone.

Leslie    PHILADELPHIA, PA

4/8/2011 12:00:16 PM

Why does every recommendation put the vet first? My cat was projectile vomiting. He was eating the kitten dry food. We fed the kittens separately and no more problem.

signe    arlington, VA

12/26/2009 12:36:03 AM

my cat has been vomiting less than before and won't eat or drink. he usually running away from everyone. but now he just walks around. and he is usually very perky and now he is always down.

Holly    Stouffville, ON

12/10/2009 6:21:39 PM

I have an elderly cat with a history of vomiting. Her past owner informed me that she vomited at least once a week. When we came into possession of her we switched her food, and we did so gradually, (she wasn't on a very healthy food), to make the change easier on her stomach. She then began to vomit more frequently. We kept trying new foods with her and her vomiting eventually became so bad it was happening several times a day. She hated all the other foods we tried with her and would barely eat them. When she did eat them, she would vomit. She would then try to eat our younger cat's food which also made her sick. She ended up losing 2 pounds in one year, so we went back to her old, less healthy food and she has stopped vomiting almost altogether. She only vomits every once in a while now. She is back to eating like normal, and we are hoping that by her next yearly vet check up, she will have gained those two pounds back, (or at least not lost anymore). She has a very sensitive stomach and can only take the food she's on. She's 14 years old, so we figure it doesn't really matter if her food isn't the "top brand" out there. As long as it's keeping her full and stopping her from vomiting, at this point in her life, we are happy and so is she.

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